GLOG: The Vivisectionist

Transferred from my old blog “Rhyming Fool Exits Stage Left“.

When you’ve got gold burnin’ a hole
In your pretty little pocketses
When you’ve lost a bit of your soul,
You know what Dr. Sprokkit says:
“Just leave yourself with me,
I’ll fix y’ up nice and clean
With a stitch and a seam
All it’ll cost ya’s some shinies!”
And you drop a little gold into his thinkin’ cap
You rest your weary head on the bed’s metal lap
He straps you in and with an ominous thunder-clap,
He stitches you up real good,
gives ya somethin’ for the pain
‘Cause when you’ve lost a limb or two,
What’s there left to lose?
Just sit down, enjoy the sound of the rain…

The Kind Doctor Nicolas Zane, drawn by myself

Starting Equipment: Your trusty scalpel (Dagger), a sewing kit with soutures, surgeon’s garb, and a bag of 1d4 miscellaneous pain remedies.

Starting Skill: Surgery

Templates
A. Doctor Fogg’s Monstrous Medicine
B. Sir Nicolas Zane’s Mental Malpractice
C. Professor Bonebreak’s Rapid Recovery
D. Hinkerstein’s Monster

Doctor Fogg’s Monstrous Medicine
The first (and most common) procedure of the Vivisectionist’s toolkit is the well-practiced art of sewing another bloody bit onto or into the patient and calling it a day. You begin with a collection of 2 Monster Bits (from creatures no higher than 2 HD. Decide on them with your GM, then add them to your inventory, with each one taking up 1 Slot).

Out of combat (or in combat if you’re either brave, fast, or stupid), you can use one of your Monster Bits to replace a relevant lost body part. The surgery takes up to 2 hours, or 10 minutes if hastened with a successful Surgery check. If the replacement is left attached for longer than 1d4 days, it begins to rot; The Patient must Save vs. Disease for every day after the “expiry date” until it is removed. On a failed Save, the Patient becomes afflicted with Foggwurm (detailed below).

Sir Nicolas Zane’s Mental Malpractice
A handy tool in any Vivisectionist’s toolkit is the Mental Malpractice popularised by the unlicensed surgeon Sir Nicolas Zane, after it handily neutralised a few of his rivals. As long as someone (or something) isn’t openly hostile, you can capitalise on their troubles; by taking the position of a Doctor practicing upon a Patient, and as long as you know of a problem you can solve for the Patient, they act as if they are under the effects of a Charm.
The Patient will perform any task that makes it easier for you to solve their problem, provided it isn’t directly harmful to themselves or their allies. While in this state of trust, the Patient has a -2 penalty to Defense against any “mandatory amputations” you may attempt to perform on them.

Professor Bonebreak’s Rapid Recovery
Crafting cures and treatments for pain and injuries is a natural pastime for a Vivisectionist, as it allows them to perform their duties more efficiently. With the proper tools (i.e. a chemistry kit, some herbs, or a selection of various alcoholic beverages), you can create some simple pain remedies. Each one takes 30 minutes to craft and either restores 1d6 hit points, or numbs the Patient, which negates up to 1d6 damage per round for 1 minute, but imposes a -3 penalty to Attack and Defense.

The second Pain Remedy a Patient takes causes them to Save vs. Addiction. An Addicted Patient must use a pain remedy at least once every day (regardless of their current condition) or suffer from Withdrawal, which imposes a cumulative -1 penalty to Wisdom and Intelligence related checks until a Remedy is taken. Addiction is only removed after a full week of not taking a Pain Remedy.

Hinkerstein’s Monster
The final lesson of the Vivisectionist is that of the fabled Doctor Hinkerstein’s Monster. Having learned the art of preservation and organic augmentation, your Monstrous Medicine no longer expires, allowing you to craft hideous monstrosities that far exceed physical (or mental) limitations, as well as restoring half the Patient’s maximum hit points after a full surgery. You can also expend 5 Monster Bits to create a Carrion Creature (fully detailed below).

When you’ve got lead burnin’ a hole
In your bleedin’ heart, you see,
When Death’s lookin for its toll
You know how Dr. Sprokkit feels:
“Dont’cha fret now, dear,
Don’tcha shed a tear,
And if you ever fear,
Just remember I’m right here!”
And he drops the little lead onto the metal floor
You rest your hurtin’ head against the wooden door
With a rummage and a rustle he’s got whatcha here for,
He takes your beatin’ heart
Makes you right as rain
‘Cause when you’ve lost a limb or two,
What’s there left to lose?
Just sit down and let him take away the pain…

Dr. Moreau, by Ricardo Garijo

Monster Bits
As mentioned in Doctor Fogg’s Monstrous Medicine, the Vivisectionist starts with 2 Monster Bits. You can gain Monster Bits whenever you spend 30 minutes or more harvesting parts from recently slain monsters (provided their corpses are relatively intact). Work with your DM to make a relevant and interesting Monster Bit for the creatures you harvest, with the only caveat being that Vivisectionists don’t work with mechanical parts (For that, you’ll be wanting an Auger).

d6Body Part
1Head
2Right Leg
3Right Arm
4Left Leg
5Left Arm
6Torso

Foggwurm
Worms writhe beneath your skin, little creatures nibbling at your flesh, until the skin flakes away to reveal naught but bone beneath. Soon, even that will be chewed away to mere fog on the wind.
For every day you are infected with Foggwurm, you must Save vs Disease or roll on the table to find out what part is infected next. An infected part confers a -1 penalty to any rolls relating to that part. If Torso is rolled, your maximum hit points are reduced by the penalty instead.
Any parts already infected have the penalty increased, up to a maximum of -3, after which they are withered to near-uselessness. Once all parts reach a -3 penalty, you are Dead, as the things consume your corpse and leave only a foggy remnant behind.

The only cure for Foggwurm beyond luck and fortitude is Fire. If you spend a minute or more bathing any afflicted parts entirely in roaring flame, you are cured of Foggwurm, as the writhing things are burned to dust — possibly along with yourself.

Carrion Creature
HD 3
Appearance: A horrendous (or strangely beautiful) mixture of its constituent Monster Bits.
Wants: To consume and grow. Will happily avoid its creator… for a time.
Armour: As Leather.
Move: Base 10
Morale: 12
Damage: Base 1d6

Rotting: The Carrion Creature is constantly in a state of stinking deterioration due to its necrotic nature. After 1d4 days, the Carrion Creature rots away into a putrid mass of flesh and bone, and any creatures who come into contact with the pile must Save vs. Disease or contract Foggwurm.

Corpse Eater: The Carrion Creature can restore up to 2d6 hit points by spending 1 minute eating the corpse of a fresh kill. For every 5 HD worth of creature corpses it eats, the Carrion Creature’s lifespan extends by 1 day.

Monstrous: The Carrion Creature gains the abilities of each Monster Bit used to craft it (disregarding improvements for stats it doesn’t have), and it can take full advantage of these to carry out any tasks given to it.

Nicolas Zane, D.Ed.
HD 2
Appearance: A thin and malformed man dressed in a ragged suit and tie, wearing thin white gloves since-covered in long-dried blood. His face is constantly obscured by heavy shadows, despite being often seen under an intense surgical light.
Wants: To operate, mend, and dissect. Often against the patient’s will.
Armour: As Leather.
Move: 13
Morale: 10
Damage: 1d6 (+4 if target affected by Kind Doctor, at which point it immediately ends.)

The Kind Doctor: Upon your first meeting of Nicolas Zane, Save vs. Charm; on a failure, you are considered Charmed, as per the Mental Malpractice ability: the Doctor would surely never harm a fly! He is merely acting in good faith to heal those in need… on a success, you realise this is absolute bullshit.

Would You Kindly…?: Nicolas Zane has a strange way with words… twisting them just enough to convince you to do a terrible favour. When Zane asks a favour of you, Save vs. Charm; on a failure, you perform the favour to the best of your abilities, as long as it’s not immediately harmful to yourself or your allies. Take a -2 penalty to Save against this effect if you are also affected by The Kind Doctor.

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